Skiing Curiosities: Arapahoe Basin Avalanche Bomb Tram

Skiing Curiosities: Arapahoe Basin Avalanche Bomb Tram

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Skiing Curiosities: Arapahoe Basin Avalanche Bomb Tram

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View of the EDS poles and cranks to move the lines

Arapahoe Basin debuted 468 acres of new terrain in the 2017-2018 season with The Beavers, and Steep Gullies.

The Steep Gullies are exactly as described (really sick steep gullies), but they required a more effective way to mitigate avalanches and potentially rescue skiers in the narrow, and dangerous terrain.

The resort knew that traditional methods such as hand-thrown, or projectile, explosives wouldn’t do the job effectively.

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Steep Gullies Entry Sign. Courtesy: Colorado Ski Country USA

A-Basin opted for an expensive, but effective, Explosive Delivery System (EDS). The device allows for ski patrollers to access precise spots in the gullies with explosives by lowering timed charges from the cables.

The cables crisscross almost the entirety of the Steep Gullies section.

Jake, an A-Basin patroller, told me that the EDS system dramatically improves ski patrol’s ability to make the area safer, and open more often.

A-Basin patroller Jake telling me about the EDS in February 2020.

Here’s some more information from Arapahoe Basin about the installation and benefit of the EDS.

Love hearing that guy talk about the explosives towards the end. What a job.

I highly recommend skiing the Steep Gullies at Arapahoe Basin.

The 20 minute hike out is well-worth the pristine powder-filled chutes of the Steep Gullies, and the seemingly endless tree run that rests below the gullies.

You’d be hard-pressed to find any lift-serviced terrain in the country like it.

Steep Gully #4, Arapahoe Basin, February 2020, Skier: Matt Lorelli

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